Thursday, April 19, 2007

The Universal Importance of Unity

Peace and Blessings,

I'm going to start off this discussion like I do all of my "semi-important" thoughts, with a reflection on one of my favorite cartoons, lol. Even though the X-Men is my favorite contemporary (i.e. mid 1990s) cartoon, my all-time favorite cartoon is the
  • Classic Voltron Lion Force

  • This is my favorite cartoon because of its concept and its implications. I can talk about favorite cartoons and especially Voltron for days, but I'll give you the abridged version. The premise behind Voltron is the following: One cannot survive on one's own, therefore life is based upon and requires

  • Voltron Lion Force consisted of 5 people, each of which were responsible for their own lion. As a team, they were responsible for promoting and maintaining peaceful relationships among those of other nations or planets, and defended the Universe ONLY WHEN THEY HAD TO. It seems like the Bush administration could learn a lesson from Voltron's "foreign policy." During those times when they had to defend the planet, it appeared as if the lions could not defeat the enemy own their own. Once the lions came together and formed Voltron, however, the team was unstoppable. Initially, I could not understand why on every episode the individual lions would get "mopped up." The more I thought about it, however, the more I realized that the individual lions' defeat is consistent with the cartoon's overall premise that one cannot survive on his or her own accord. It was only when the lions came together to form something greater than themselves that they were able to overcome all obstacles.

    During his ministry, the Apostle Paul focused a great deal on the importance of unity. In Galatians 5:13-14 he states,

    "For you were called to freedom, brothers and sisters; only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for self- indulgence, but through love become slaves to one another. For the whole law is summed up in a single commandment, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'"

    I don't think that the word "slaves" as it is used here refers to being literally subserviant to and being treated as inferior by another. Instead, I am more than confident that it was referring to the idea that we must love each other in a way that puts their needs on par with, and sometimes before our own. Further, Paul's emphasis in 1 Corinthians 12:14-26 on individuals from different backgrounds and walks of life all being part of the Body of Christ suggests that for Christians, we cannot discriminate amongst each other based on gifts, status, or anything else. Because the body of Christ consists of a variety of different people, then it follows that an individual within the body of Christ is connected to and dependent upon everyone else in the body as well.

    Before I end, I just wanted to introduce
  • an organization that embodies this essence of Unity

  • Some of the services they provide include providing food and housing, job and computer skills training, drug recovery, and other forms of ministry.
    Not only does CityTeam Ministries represent unity with respects to its team members, their emphasis on transforming the lives of the marginalized suggests the realization that regardless of our background and position in life, we are all connected.

    What do you think? What is your meaning of unity? What would it look like for this meaning of unity to be actualized in America? Throughout the world? Weigh in and speekonit...


    Anonymous said...

    First of all, I like your illustration of Voltron Lion Force Cartoon. It brought back so many memories of me watching this cartoon when I was younger in Nigeria. lol!!! And I remember the lions coming together to form Voltron. lol……this brings back A LOT of memories.

    I like how you use the illustration to promote Unity and I feel as though that this is needed in the body of Christ. Unity, Peace & Love within us Christians is needed to advance the Kingdom of Jesus Christ. But a lot of times, there is division within the body due to race, socio-economic, etc. The body of Christ is where Unity is needed the most and the most imperative.

    However, when it comes to unity to being actualized in America and throughout the world, is it very likely that it cannot & will not happen. I am not trying to be negative, but I am being very realistic, especially from a Christian perspective. I feel as though the world is getting worse everyday and things are getting worse everyday, including people as well. Yes, every country and every nation is at fault, even the United States. But I feel as though when certain people in power try to promote Unity within nations/countries, other certain people in power will do and say something that will cause disunity, which brings about war and all other types of evil things. For example, the president of Iran says that the Holocaust did not happen and that the state of Israel should be wiped out. Now, we all know the condition of the Middle East, where there’s always tension between the Israelis and its bordering Arab countries. If one tries to promote Unity in the Middle East, how can it happen when a statement such as the one like the president of Iran is made; which makes other people upset because the Holocaust did happen.

    Another example of this will be race relation/race unity in the United States. We all know that there’s still racism in the US and also discrimination. Even though there’s been some race unity and it is better than it was 50 years ago, we all know that Unity can be disrupted when a racist incident occurs (Michael Richards) or when someone like Don Imus makes a degrading comment about Black Women. It is things like this that happens that will always bring about disunity.

    Now imagine (an example) if those who are the majority of the society according to race, told you that there is no racism in the United States or better yet, Slavery never happened. I am not saying this will happen, but imagine somebody was ignorant enough to say that. How would that makes us (Black people) feel and would a statement like that bring Unity?

    Just food for thought.

    -Sis (Young Tem)

    Unknown said...

    First of, thanks for the very throught-provoking comment. You raise a great deal of very relevant points to show that within the world and within the U.S., there appears to be more disunity than unity. I think that waht I was trying to get at with the question was what unity would look like hypothetically to them. I know that practially that there are all these things going on, but at the same time we must have a vision before we work towards any goal worth achieving. Even if one's vision of unity may not be actualized throughout the world of the U.S. in one's lifetime, it is that vision nonetheless that will motivate one to promote unity in the lives of others. Becase the world is made up of people and people can change, then I know that the world could change. But still, the ability to change and actually changing are two different things.

    Anonymous said...

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